Overwhelming response to 1Malaysia Cup

Datuk M. Kayveas

KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Cup, a unique junior football tournament based on the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has received overwhelming response.

The tournament organised by World Cup Vision Football Club under the patronage of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M.

Kayveas, saw full participation with 24 teams participating in each of the three age group categories held: Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16.

The tournament, to be held at Dataran Timur and Road 10 fields in Petaling Jaya on Dec 12 and 13, was not only to help promote football and provide an avenue for junior footballers to showcase their talent and skill, but also to promote unity among the races which is part of PPP’s social obligation to the people, said Kayveas.

“PPP certainly welcomes the concept of the tournament which requires every team to field players from different races, a concept that will enhance interaction among the races, just as wished by our Prime Minister,” he said adding that despite being a freeentry tournament, the tournament will offer prize money for the top four winners in each categories.

The champions in each category will receive RM3,000 plus a trophy and winners medals, runners-up take home RM1,500 and the third-placed team will receive RM700, while the fourth-placed team, RM250.

According to organising chairman Kamal Kassim, places for the 11-a-side tournament, which offered free entry to 24 participating teams in each category on a first come, first served basis, was snapped up within days after it was announced.

“We had to turn down requests from numerous clubs in the Klang Valley as well as from other states. As for the tournament, we have teams from as far as Singapore, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak and Kelantan competing,” he said.

“The basic requirement of the participating teams is simple.

Each team is required to field a set of multi-racial players because the objective of the tournament is aimed at integration and unity.

“Sports breaks all barriers and to be true to such principles, we need to embark on such activities to promote unity among the races through sports.

We are also trying to provide free breakfast and drinks to the players.

“However, we are working on a tight budget and hope sponsors and well-wishers will come forward to contribute in cash or kind towards funding food and drinks to the players,” he said.

He added that World Cup Vision Football Club was made up of a group of veteran footballers who are seriously concerned in developing football at the grass roots and believe by providing a good base for them to excel, they would grow into good players and one day help lift the gloom surrounding Malaysian football. — Bernama

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